Sydney Thunder were crowned champions of Big Bash League 5 with a thrilling three-wicket victory over Melbourne Stars, giving their skipper Mike Hussey the perfect retirement send-off.
Thunder, for years something of a laughing stock in the competition, turned it around by downing the big-name Stars on the back of another outstanding batting display from Usman Khawaja (70 off 40 balls).
The opener helped Thunder overhaul Stars' 176-9, which featured a dashing 74 off 39 balls from Kevin Pietersen.
Mike Hussey won the toss for the visitors and asked Stars to bat first, knowing that the Melbourne side prefer to chase, winning their last five matches at the MCG batting second.
Despite the early loss of Marcus Stoinis (five), English pairing Luke Wright (23) and Pietersen settled the nerves, taking them safely to 50 in the seventh over.
Wright's dismissal to Shane Watson (2-17) just allowed Pietersen to unleash another brilliant showing of batting skill, cracking five sixes as he found support from Peter Handscomb (nine) and skipper David Hussey (21).
The visitors continued to take regular wickets with spinner Chris Green (2-37) to the fore as Evan Gulbis (16) and Adam Zampa (15) tried to boost the total.
Their final tally was more than the average first innings winning score at the MCG and they knew they needed early wickets.
But in man-of-the-match Khawaja, Thunder had an in-form player who had scored 849 runs in his last nine innings across all formats, averaging 141.50.
He continued to show his class as he and Jacques Kallis (28 off 27 balls) gave the Thunder the perfect platform with a stand of 86 in 55 balls but wickets kept falling to keep the Stars interested.
Shane Watson went for six and Khawaja holed out to the rarely used David Hussey's spin while Mike Hussey was bowled by Zampa and Andre Russell's eight-ball 10 came to an end, edging Stoinis' slower ball to the keeper. At 146-5 midway through the 17th over, it was anyone's game.
However Ben Rohrer (13 not out off 9 balls), who won BBL2 with the Sydney Sixers, and with Aiden Blizzard (16 off seven balls), scrapped their way over the line.
Needing four to win from the final over, it was Rohrer's straight hit down the ground into the sightscreen that set off the unlikely celebrations for the Thunder, who had just five wins in the previous four BBL seasons.
The victory capped off a memorable day for the franchise after their women's team won the inaugural Big Bash Women's title with a three-wicket success over derby rivals Sydney Sixers.
Watch highlights of the Big Bash League final at 9pm on Sky Sports 3.